Northern Ireland news

Sean Quinn: Attack on Kevin Lunney and Quinn executives are not being carried out in my name

Sean Quinn and his wife Patricia at a rally in support of the Quinn family in Ballyconnell Co Cavan last August. picture Mark Marlow.
Aine McMahon PA

Businessman Sean Quinn has said attacks being carried out on Quinn executives are not being carried out in his name and are damaging to his family.

A senior director in the companies once owned by Mr Quinn sustained life-changing injuries when he was abducted and beaten by a masked gang.

Father-of-six Kevin Lunney was attacked as he arrived at his home in Derrylin, Co Fermanagh, at around 6.40pm on Tuesday.

Mr Lunney, a director at Quinn Industrial Holdings, was driven away before being subjected to a "severe and savage" beating at an unknown location, Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) Superintendent Clive Beatty said.

Mr Quinn, who was once Ireland's richest man, formerly owned the companies now known as Quinn Industrial Holdings. His empire collapsed in 2012 and he lost control of his portfolio of businesses. He was later employed as a consultant at his former companies but left that role in 2016.

Tuesday's attack, during which Mr Lunney was reportedly tortured, was the latest in a series targeting Quinn Industrial Holdings and its directors.

A sinister element in the community in the Fermanagh/Cavan border area continues to vent anger at the demise of Mr Quinn's empire. Paramilitary involvement is suspected.

The Quinn family has consistently condemned and distanced itself from those attacking the new owners.

On Thursday Mr Quinn said: "As far as I am concerned, I have moved on and am involved in other things. We don't want to be labelled with this. This is the last thing we want.

"The people doing this are not doing this for the Quinns because they should know this is going to damage the Quinns.

"My view is that you wouldn't do that to a dog. That is not natural and it doesn't make any sense to me."

Quinn Industrial Holdings said Mr Lunney's car and another vehicle were found ablaze in a road near his family home shortly before 7pm on Tuesday.

"Mr Lunney sustained a broken leg and a range of other very severe, but non-life threatening, injuries for which he is being treated in a nearby hospital," a spokesman said.

Mr Quinn told Northern Sound radio station: "That man has a wife and kids, so of course I would condemn it totally.

"My reaction would be the same as anyone else's. It would be a sense of outrage.

"It would appear to me to be a fairly barbaric attack. Of course any proper individual and anybody with any sense of any morals would of course condemn that."

He said he has repeatedly condemned the attacks on Quinn executives and that he and his family have no involvement with them.

"My family have been on to me and they are outraged as well. They have said we're going to take the flak for this and we are being blamed for this and that some people will look our direction at it," he said.

"It is a pity people are coming back to me all the time and asking me to condemn this... with all of these incidents... of course I condemn them.

"I am disappointed that people are always coming back to me and asking me about this because, since I left there and was sacked from there, the current executives and directors have issued legal proceeding against former directors, managers, staff, neighbours and friends. There is an awful of conflict down there.

"It is not me. I haven't been involved in those businesses for three and a half years.

"I'm condemning it totally and absolutely. There is no way around that. I am just saying it shouldn't still be linked to me or up to Sean Quinn to condemn this."

Mr Quinn said he has never been involved in violence in his life and all he could do is offer his condolences to Mr Lunney and his family.

"My own family have been on and they are outraged. They are asking me what can you do about this. All I am saying is what can I do?

"What do people want me to do? Do they want me to hang by the cross and say I am responsible for a, b, c or d? I'm not. I had nothing got to do with it."

Gardai in the Republic of Ireland and the PSNI are working together on the case.

Officers are appealing for information about a silver BMW and black Audi seen driving suspiciously in Derrylin on Tuesday evening.

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